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Patriots Trademark 19-0?

By now it would seem that virtually everyone knows of the enormous upset pulled off by the New York Giants against the New England Patriots (17-14) in the Super Bowl on Sunday.  As soon as I saw Bill Belichick, the Coach for the New England Patriots, who I have taken to calling Belicheat, I knew the Patriots were in trouble. …

Improvement Patents & Inventions

By far, most inventions are improvements upon other known devices or solutions. Even Thomas Edison, the most prolific inventor in US history, rarely came up with pioneering inventions. What Edison had the knack for was taking something that someone else had come up with and making it extraordinarily better.

Improved Human Slingshot Machine

 Amusement device US Patent No. 6,497,623 Issued December 24, 2002 Those of you who are familiar with patent law may think you recognize this invention.  Virtually everyone who is a wacky patent fan has probably seen the Human slingshot machine, which is US Patent No. 5,421,783, which issued on June 6, 1995.  This invention is certainly similar, but this is…

U2 Says ISPs to Blame for © Infringement

According to U2 manager Paul McGuinness, Internet service providers are to blame for continuing music piracy.  Speaking at conference in France, McGuinness said that ISPs should be disconnecting those who download tracks illegally, stating that ISPs have “been at our trough for too long.” He also claimed that ISPs are to blame for the “shoddy, careless and downright dishonest way” in which artists…

Protecting Trade Secret Assets

If you ask the owners of most companies whether they have any intellectual property assets, assuming they know what you are talking about they are likely to say no.  The problem with that, however, is that the answer should universally be a resounding YES!  Every company has intellectual property assets.  The name of your company is an asset that can…

Obscure Patent: Flush Toilet for Dogs

Flush toilet for a dog US Patent No. 6,769,382 [ PDF ] Issued August 3, 2004  The patent on this toilet for dogs reads almost like a Monty Python sketch really.  The Background of the Invention starts by explaining that domestic pets such as dogs provide love and companionship to human beings, but they also create the daunting task associated with,…

Vacuum Cleaner Patented Jan. 1, 2008

Upright Type Cleaner U.S. Patent No. 7,313,845 [ PDF ] Patent Issued: January 1, 2008 It is almost unbeliveable to imagine, but on New Years Day 2008, while many of us were recovering from the previous night or watching lopsided college football bowl games, the United States Patent Office was issuing a patent covering a revolutionary invention.  They call it…

Inventing to Solve Problems

The key to making money with innovation is to be able to solve a problem that will lead to a product or service that others will be willing to pay for.  As Thomas Edison famously learned early in his career, inventing for the sake of inventing is not something that will lead to riches.  After one of Edison’s first inventions was a flop he vowed to never again invent anything without first researching and determining that there would be a demand for the invention or innovation.

Blogging Live From NY

I have been away on an extended business trip, and I have now just returned.  One of the stops on this trip was the headquarters of the Practising Law Institute (PLI) in New York City.  As some of you may know, I am the editor and blogger for the PLI Patent Practice Center.  On Monday and Tuesday of this week…

“I am Legend” Copyright Infringement?

After reading the book and seeing the movie, it’s a wonder that Director Lawrence even states that the movie is based on this book. While discussing the difference between the book and movie, this very question came to mind. There are some similarities between the two, but the book is so incredibly different that one could think they were different stories all together.

Subway… More Meat? Right!

Who would not want to buy a sub or sandwich that looks like the subs that are shown on the Subway website, or those that are shown on their popular TV commercials? But who among us has ever received a sub or sandwich from Subway that looks anything like those that they promote in their advertising? I know that I have never once seen a sub like those. Simply said, based on my experiences it is my belief that Subway advertising is laughably misleading.

What is a Confidentiality Agreement?

A Confidentiality Agreement, which is also known as non-disclosure agreement or NDA, is simply a contract between two or more parties where the subject of the agreement is a promise that information conveyed will be maintained in secrecy. These agreements can be mutual agreements, where both parties are obligated to maintain secrecy, or they can be unilateral agreements, where only the…

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Chuck Norris Sues Penguin Group

On December 21, 2007, Chuck Norris sued Penguin Group in the United States Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York over a book they published in November 2007 titled The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World’s Greatest Human. Norris is also suing author Ian Spector who runs several websites that promote the book. The basis for the book and the websites are mythical rumors.


Welcome to the newly formed blog.  My name is Gene Quinn and I am a patent attorney, law professor and author.  I founded in 1999, and since that time the site has been a trusted resource for well over 1 million visitors, making one of the most popular websites devoted to intellectual property issues. 
At the end of 2007, was once again given a face lift.  Periodically throughout the years the site has taken on new looks and functionality in order to keep up with the times.  In this latest revision to our site we have elected to use a Wordpress blog platform, which will offer us not only the ability to have static information pages (what has become known for providing) but also will allow

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